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Russia's first stealth fighter makes maiden flight

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Finally, the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lighting II arch rival unveiled to the world...



Russia's first stealth fighter makes maiden flight



Associated Press Writer


MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's first stealth fighter intended to match the latest U.S. design made its maiden flight Friday, boosting the country's efforts to modernize its rusting Soviet-built arsenals and retain its lucrative export market.


The Sukhoi T-50's flight comes nearly two decades after the first prototype of the U.S. F-22 Raptor took to the air, and Russian officials said it will take another five years for the new jet to enter service. Still, the flight marked a major step in Russia's efforts to burnish the faded glory of its aviation industries and strengthen a beleaguered military.


The sleek twin-engined jet closely resembling the Raptor flew for 47-minutes from an airfield at Sukhoi's production plant in the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday. Development of the so-called fifth-generation fighter has been veiled in secrecy and no images of it had been released before the flight.


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hailed the flight as a "big step forward," but admitted that "a lot remains to be done in terms of engines and armament."


Craig Caffrey, an analyst for Jane's Defense Procurement-Military Aircraft, said the new fighter is "hugely important," both for modernizing the aging Russian air force fleet and retaining export markets.


"The T-50 should offer the Russian Air Force a significant boost in its capabilities and ensure that it remains one of the best equipped air forces in the world," he told The Associated Press by e-mail.


Caffrey said the new fighter will attract many foreign customers. "For those countries that don't traditionally purchase military equipment from the U.S. it will be the only fifth generation aircraft available," he said.


The NPO Saturn company said in a statement that the jet has new engines, but military analysts suggested that they were a slightly modernized version of the Soviet-era engine powering the Su-27 family of fighters.


"It's a humbug," said independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. "It's just a prototype lacking new engines and a new radar. It takes new materials to build a fifth-generation fighter, and Russia lacks them."


Putin said Friday the first batch of new fighters is set to enter an Air Force evaluation unit in 2013 and serial production is set to begin in 2015.





Maiden Flight for Russia’s New Stealth Fighter


Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA made a successful 47-minute maiden flight on Friday 29 January 2010, taking off from Komsomolsk-on-Amur Airfield in Russia’s Far East, adjacent to the manufacturer’s site.


The aircraft was flown by Sukhoi test-pilot Sergey Bogdan. Sukhoi, the aircraft designer is expecting to complete flight testing and enter serial manufacturing by 2015, anticipating orders for at least 400 aircraft for the Russian and Indian Air Forces.


The flight went successfully meeting all its assigned tasks. “In the course of the flight we’ve conducted initial evaluation of the aircraft controllability, engine performance and primary systems operation. The aircraft had retracted and extracted the landing gear. The aircraft performed excellent at all flight-test points scheduled for today. It is easy and comfortable to pilot”, - said Sergey Bogdan.


After the initial test flights in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the next test flight program is planned to take place in the Moscow and Astrakhan regions. The new fifth generation stealth fighter, known by Project Code Name T-50 PAK-FA (Advanced Tactical Frontline Fighter) is designed to compete with the US stealth fighters such as the Lockheed Martin built F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.


Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. India had joined the program in October 2007 and is expected to share 25% of the development cost. India will also be responsible for modifying the aircraft into a two-seater trainer and special-mission fighter, addressing specific Indian Air Force requirements.


The T-50 is expected to have an endurance of 3.3 hours, and a ferry range of 5,500 km. Its armament consists of new air-to-air and anti-ship missiles in addition to two 30mm cannons.











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Wow.. sooo sexy.. beats the F22 anytime anyday!! I hope it is equipped with the RF radar to detect the F22's!! :good:

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Those massive engine exhaust nozzles - I wonder how this plane can be a stealth aircraft...


Yeah... Doesn't look as "stealth" as the American's... But who knows it could be more stealth...


more like 'Raptorized' Flanker..



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